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Oakmont’s Hyde accepts walk-on status at Rutgers

Cornerback grew up in Roseville but originally is from Brooklyn, N.Y.
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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The term “as far back as one can remember” means childhood for most, so most know Justin Hyde as a California kid, a Roseville kid.

Hyde moved to California as a kid all right, but he’s originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., so when Rutgers University announced recently that the Oakmont High School senior made a verbal commitment to accept preferred walk-on status with the football team next season, it was touted as a “return to his East Coast roots,” according to a story on the website www.scarletreport.com.

Hyde acknowledged as much in an interview with the website, saying, “I’ve always wanted to go back to school there for college. The campus is only about 50 minutes from my family, so it’s not like I’m stranded there away from home. … The academics played a big part in it and the location. That’s big-time football. They’re always a big contender in the Big East, and they’re going to be in the Big Ten soon. It’s all of those factors that played into it.”

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Hyde was recruited as a cornerback, which the website noted was a “position of need” for the Scarlet Knights. Hyde made 83 tackles and had 15 passes defended in two varsity seasons with the Vikings and last fall was named All-Capital Valley Conference honorable mention.

Oakmont coach Tim Moore noted Hyde was a four-year starter at cornerback and running back and voted the MVP of his freshman and JV teams. He was the Vikings’ most improved defensive player as a junior and last fall was the team’s defensive skill player of the year.

Moore also pointed out Hyde’s academic honors, which included two CVC scholar-athlete awards.

“Coach (Kyle) Flood is getting a very intelligent, physical, hard-working young man that will help continue to make Rutgers … a top program in college football,” Moore said in an e-mail.

Hyde will have Oakmont company on the New Jersey campus next fall. Three-time CVC golf champion Maddy Gedeon will attend Rutgers on scholarship.

Moore added that Oakmont quarterback Taylor Laird and offensive lineman Tino Loconte will play for Sacramento City College next season. Laird (6-3, 215) was voted to the All-CVC first team last fall. Loconte (5-10, 250) was a three-year varsity starter and two-time All-CVC selection.

Contact Bill Poindexter at billp@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.